Reflections on a Wandering Life.....

Tuesday, February 07, 2012


Finally bought a new pair of glasses. The thing that took me so long (other than my problem with double vision) is that I had misunderstood how it works in China. In the U.S. ophthalmologists work in hospitals, and optometrists work in the places where you actually get fitted for glasses. But in China, both ophthalmologists and optometrists work in a hospital. So when you go to buy a pair of glasses, they will tell you they can check your eyes, but it's really obvious that they don't really know what they are doing. I was disgusted. I was talking about this a couple days ago in our Sunday afternoon Bible study and one of them mentioned that a sister in her BSF study group was an ophthalmologist at Tongren Hospital. I told her that I didn't really need to see an ophthalmologist; I wanted to find an optometrist. But they got Lilian on the phone anyway, and she told me to come in and she would make time for me.

Lilian is an eye surgeon, and she was quite busy yesterday, because yesterday was the Lantern Festival, which, in China, always happens two weeks after Chinese New Year, and is the last opportunity for people to use up their fireworks. So there were quite a few folks coming in with eye injuries. The way people play with fire in this country it doesn't surprise me...but that's a different subject.

Anyway, it was a good thing I saw her, because it gave me a chance to ask once more about my double vision (which got me another lecture on eating low fat foods), but mainly because Lilian called the optometrist and was able to schedule an appointment for me directly. Dr. Zhao was very thorough. So take it from me, there are real optometrists in China. But they work in hospitals. So go to Tongren Hospital first and get a valid prescription. Then you can go to the glasses mall in Jinsong and get your glasses.

I had never been to the glasses mall, but one of my friends gave me the shop address for a place run by a Christian couple from Wenzhou. Took 30 minutes to have the glasses made. They charged me 150 RMB. That's one tenth of what I paid in Guangzhou seven years ago.

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